Cease Striving

Gina Butz dependence on God, peace, rest 3 Comments

are you striving in life?

photo by Ryan Hafey

I’ve never been one for being quiet or still. My mom loves to tell stories of my propensity to crawl, climb, walk, at an early age, and of a 2-year-old Gina marching into Sunday School singing, “Have faith, hope and charity, that’s the way to live successfully!” One memorable report card from 2nd grade lauds my sociability with other kids, my willingness to participate in class discussions. It ends, though, with the downside, “Gina needs to learn to be quiet in class.”

No, I’m not much for quiet and still. I like to be on the move. I like to communicate. I tend to live my life at high speeds of taking in information, accomplishing all that I can, seeking opportunities to express myself.

Cease striving, and know that I am God might have been written just for me.

I need to have it phrased that way, “Cease striving.” It packs more of a divine reprimand for me that just “be still.” When I think of “be still” I imagine something that is already at rest and is being asked to just stay. “Cease striving” speaks more to my MO. I strive. Oh how I strive.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe it’s part of how God made me, this inclination toward activity. It’s something I like about myself, the high capacity to do the things that interest me. The danger comes when my activity and my own chatter silence the voice of God, when I use my actions and my voice to try to find life apart from God, to make things happen in my ways and in my time.

Lately, I’ve been doing that. In my desire to find my place in this new chapter of life, I want to run ahead of God. I want to make noise so that I am seen and heard, recognized and approved. I don’t want to rest in His ways or His timing, but that is exactly what He is asking me to do. He’s asking me to cease trying to make life happen according my ideas, to stop looking for life apart from Him.

There’s actually a great relief that comes in being reminded of that. I am His. He knows what He’s doing with me. I just need to cease striving and let Him be God in my life.

What about you? Are you striving today?


My hope is to be a voice of encouragement, grace, freedom and rest. Join me on the journey by subscribing to my blog! Subscribers receive my 8-day devotional It Is Well with My Soul as well as my undying gratitude (bonus!). 

Comments 3

  1. This is AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing.

    I have struggled with striving for a long time. Which translation of the Bible is the verse you shared from? Could you email me or message me on Facebook with the exact scripture reference and the translation please?

    I have not been striving as much lately, but I can feel myself getting pulled that way sometimes, and I have to stop myself and allow myself to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit instead of trying to lead the Holy Spirit. 😉

  2. Post

    Stephanie – thanks! How did you find this blog, by the way? I haven’t actually made it public yet, but thanks for coming to read it. 🙂 It’s from the New American Standard version, Psalm 46:10.

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